Remittances and Diaspora Engagement in South Sudan

Related Sustainable Development Goals and Global Compact for Migration Objectives

SDG 4: Quality Education
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
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GCM 19
GCM 20

IOM's recent publication from South Sudan explores Remittances and Diasporas Engagement, a policy research with a focus on the South Sudanese community in Australia. The first ever published report on Remittances in South Sudan, its aim is to support the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish evidence-based policies in the future on diaspora and remittances in the country. 

Key takeaways from this report relevant to peace-building and sustainable development include: 

  • Remittances were instrumental in gaining South Sudan’s independence and a persistent emotional connection among diaspora communities continue to be present to date.
  • Diasporas are active in contributing to South Sudanese communities, addressing multiple shocks driven by natural disasters and conflicts
  • Remittances contribute to 6.7% of South Sudan's GDP, despite the fact that transaction costs to send remittances to South Sudan can be as high as 9.66% (the highest in the East and Horn of African Region).
  • Diasporas have strong association towards their tribes, or local communities, rather than their origin country as a whole.
  • They have lack of trust towards the transitional government political leadership (i.e. presidential office), but they have some trust towards government institutions (i.e Ministry of Foreign Affairs). They wish to be more engaged with institutions. 
  • There is strong support from diaspora communities towards community development projects, especially projects that are benefiting women and girls. 
  • The investment climate is currently still not strong enough for enabling large investments. There is a lack of incentives, or incentivized programs, for diasporas that will attract their investment. Security is another required condition by diasporas for them to invest bigger.
  • Remittances are used for daily needs, education, and responses to challenges and crises. 

This report is funded through the IOM Development Fund.